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James Hill at fume cupboard

Undergraduate James Hill received funding to complete an eight-week summer project

Chemistry@Cambridge Opportunity Fund

In addition to supporting world-class research in a wide spectrum of areas, we want to develop the next generation, so we started this fund to provide equal opportunities for students and early career researchers to explore and engage in research without fear of funding shortfalls or inability to pay. We are grateful to our regular givers and those who give one-off small and large donations, which help to support the fund. 

Undergraduates: Summer internships

The department provides a number of eight-week summer projects in our research groups to help undergraduate students learn more about the research environment and decide if they want to pursue a postgraduate research degree. The students earn a living wage, which gives all students access to the scheme regardless of their financial ability. Each summer project costs about £7,000, and the Opportunity Fund provides a welcome source of additional funding to increase the number of summer projects available.

James Hill

The summer after completing his Part II in Chemistry, James joined Professor Hugo Bronstein's group for an eight-week project synthesising new chiral small molecules and polymers. The experience gave James an idea of what it would be like to pursue academia further, and confirmed his intention to do a PhD.


"I would like to say thank you to the donors who made this possible. It was an invaluable experience that confirmed my desire to continue chemistry into the future."



Jonah Eicke

Jonah completed an eight-week summer internship in Professor Matthew Gaunt's synthetic chemistry group. He is now completing his Part III project in the Gaunt group, working on guanosine functionalisation.


"I enjoyed my time going into the lab. I thought 'I could do this for four years' so I'm now applying for PhD programmes. I'd like to thank the funders of the internship: they've provided me with a really brilliant opportunity, and I'm grateful."


Postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers

Postdocs in the Atmospheric Chemistry group with the portable sensors they've developed

Our community of over 500 postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers is the engine of our daily research success, advancing our work and its transformational impact on our three key strategic areas: health, sustainability, and new materials.

The Opportunity Fund helps us to attract the most talented researchers by ensuring they not only have access to outstanding academic staff and excellent facilities, but also the security of knowing they can apply for additional funding to help them participate in the important conferences and workshops that are so crucial to young researchers. They also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can apply to cover an unexpected gap in in their research grant, such as that which happened to so many researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Providing support in a range of areas:

  • For researchers to participate in workshops and conferences that will enable them to share their findings and mingle with the world’s experts in their fields
  • For researchers affected by unforeseen interruptions or difficulties with funding, thereby mitigating any disruptions to their research
  • For professional networks that foster connections between industry and the Department, leading to mutually beneficial and innovative research partnerships

If you have any questions about philanthropic giving and Chemistry@Cambridge please contact us.

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